Guest Post: Mitch Hurst, MH Communications
One of the more satisfying aspects of holding a job in philanthropy is knowing you’re getting a paycheck from an enterprise that is, at its core, altruistic. You hop on your favorite mode of transport at the end of the workday and even if the day hadn’t gone as planned you can feel pretty good that you just spent eight or 10 hours trying to make the world a better place.
Guest Post: Minna Jung, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Vice Chair, Communications Network
Joined by co-conspirators Kristen Grimm of Spitfire Strategies, and Patrick McCabe of GYMR LLC, I helped lead a session at the recent Network annual conference in Boston about how foundations and communications consultants/firms can work together more successfully. The session involved storytelling (with incriminating evidence omitted) and then the foundation folks sat on one side, the consultants/firms on the other, to come up with “Rules of the Road” for how to help the relationship be as successful as possible from the get-go. And then we shared. It was kind of a blast, and I was completely unwilling to remove my devil’s tail for the rest of the day. (The horns gave me a bit of a headache.)
An article in the Oct. 1, 2011, Sunday’s New York Times raised an important concern that undoubtedly creeps into the thinking of foundation and nonprofit communicators every so often: Why do people care about some issues and not others? And more so, how do you overcome the likelihood of “psychic numbing” – people turning off their feelings rather than rallying to action because they feel some problems are too big to help solve?
We raised similar questions ourselves two years ago in a webinar that featured a discussion with with Paul Slovic, a psychologist at the University of Oregon, and one of the experts featured in the recent Times article.
Post from the 2011 Conference in Boston
Among the many important and practical ideas that have stayed with me since last week’s Communications Network conference in Boston, perhaps the most penetrating has been one advanced by Eli Pariser in the first plenary. He spoke stirringly about a range of issues revolving around the themes of his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You. The idea that really struck me was the connection he made between the mutating corporations controlling information and the great food-industrial complex that has had such an immense impact on our lives over the past 60 years.
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